Monday, June 22, 2009

First swine flu case ends quarantine with full recovery

From The National, Papua New Guinea’s leading daily newspaper


THE first confirmed case of influenza A (H1N1), or swine flu, in the country, which was reported last week, has successfully completed the quarantine and treatment stage.

The person was fully recovered at home after being hit with a mild level of the swine flu, national health surveillance said last Friday.

Six of the person’s family members had also been quarantined at home at the same time the person was under surveillance, it said.

More tests would be done if they showed flu-like symptoms, it said.

The national health surveillance on influenza A (H1N1) said yesterday it had not confirmed possible new cases among passengers and flight crew of the flight that the person was on.

However, the investigation was continuing with the airline authorities, it said.

It said media reports last week had given misleading figures about swine flu cases.

It said that, according to national health surveillance figures, 16 cases had been recorded: One positive (cleared), 12 negative and three were pending results from Melbourne, Australia.

This, however, did not include three reported suspected cases detected at the Pacific International Hospital (PIH) on Saturday, which the hospital revealed yesterday.

The PIH said in a press conference it had quarantined the three suspected cases.

Medical Society of Papua New Guinea president Dr Mathias Sapuri confirmed this yesterday, saying the three people had reportedly come from Australia and were quarantined in their homes.

World Health Organisation PNG office chief Dr Eigil Sorensen said last Friday the country had a stockpile of 61,000 adult courses of the Tamiflu drug, which was sufficient for now.

A Tamiflu adult course is for 75mg tablets to be taken twice daily for five days.

Dr Sorensen urged the public to remain calm but be highly vigilant, now that the normal flu season was here.

Yesterday, The National was unsuccessful in attempts to get the Department of Transport and Civil Aviation authorities to comment on how soon the country would have thermal cameras to screen overseas passengers at relevant points of entry.


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